‘White Rhino’ cop haunted by memories of working on 9/11
Working the beat soured the burly ex-cop who shot himself to death Wednesday to avoid FBI agents arresting him in connection to a quadruple homicide and cocaine-selling ring, a friend said.
Retired NYPD officer and strongman competitor Gerard “White Rhino” Benderoth, 48, offed himself in his car after federal agents pulled him over on a Rockland County road 15 minutes from the home he shared with his wife and four children.
Investigators planned to bring Benderoth in as part of a case against his ex-cop pal Nicholas Tartaglione, who was charged in December with moving kilo-weight cocaine and killing four men “gangland-style” in a drug deal gone awry.
But Benderoth, who also cheated on his wife and kept racist statues outside of his Stony Point home, was haunted by his 12 years as an NYPD officer — including three days clearing bodies from Ground Zero after 9/11, one attendee at his wake said.
“He was a man who struggled with coping from the horror he saw on this job,” a cop said outside of Benderoth’s wake at T.J. McGowan Sons Funeral Home in upstate Garnerville on Sunday. “He tried, but in the end, he couldn’t take it. It’s a sad legacy to leave with his children.”